Picture of small river
Latest Outlook
Map showing the hydrological outlook for May 2022

May 2022 Hydrological Outlook

Period: From May 2022      Issued on 10.05.2022 using data to the end of April 2022

The outlook May and for May–July is for river flows to be below normal for southern and central England and in the normal to below normal range elsewhere. Groundwater levels in May, and for the next three months, are likely to be in the normal to below normal range across the UK.


Rainfall in April was substantially below average for most of the UK with the exception of north-west Scotland. Large areas of southern and eastern England recorded less than a third of the average expected for the month.

The rainfall outlook (issued by the Met Office on 01.05.2022) for May and for the May– July period suggests near average rainfall is more likely to prevail than wetter or drier than average conditions

River flows:

River flows in April were mainly below normal across the UK, notably or exceptionally so in south-west England, Wales, and western Scotland. There was an exception in the far north-west of Scotland where flows were above normal following above average rainfall in that area.

River flows in May are likely to show similar patterns to April. Below normal flows are expected across much of central, southern and eastern England, with normal to below normal flows being most likely across the rest of the country. A similar picture is seen for the May–July timeframe, albeit with a higher likelihood of normal flows in the north and west of the UK.


Groundwater levels in April were normal to below normal across England and Wales. Levels in south Wales and in some boreholes in southern England were below normal, exceptionally so in one case in south Wales.

Levels in May are likely to continue in the normal to below normal range at most boreholes in England and Wales. Below normal levels are likely in southern England. Levels for one borehole in the Scottish Borders are likely to be exceptionally high. The three-month outlook is very similar to the one-month outlook.